Texas Wins the 2021 DI Women’s Tennis Team Championship

The championship is the Longhorns’ third title in school history.

By Savannah Moore

The No. 2 Texas Longhorns defeated No. 5 Pepperdine Waves to capture their first team tennis title in 25 years. 

The Longhorns seized an early 1–0 lead over the Waves with a victory in doubles play, then Charlotte Chavatipon extended Texas’ lead to 2–0, winning in straight sets over Pepperdine’s Shiori Fukuda in singles play. Pepperdine managed to even the score to 2–2 after Jessica Fall prevailed in straight sets, and Lisa Zaar fended off Texas’ Kylie Collins in a second-set tiebreaker to secure a 6–3, 7–6 win.

Neither team was willing to back down, as they split the next two singles matches, keeping the total score tied, 3–3. The championship would come down to the match between two freshmen stars with Texas’ Lulu Sun battling Pepperdine’s Taisiya Pachkaleva.

The deciding match ended up being quite the duel between the two young players. After Sun decisively won the first set 6–2, it seemed like the Longhorns were just moments away from claiming the championship, but Pachkaleva was able to force a tiebreaker in the second set which she won 7–6. Sun was up 5–3 in the crucial third set before Pachkaleva fought back again, tying the set 5–5. Sun was, ironically, able to keep her cool, halting Pachkaleva’s comeback attempt, and delivering Texas the championship with a 7–5 win in the third set.

It was an unfortunate ending for the Waves, who had pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament just two days prior, taking down number one seed North Carolina. As for the Longhorns, the road may have been longer than expected, but they’re finally back on top.

The NCAA Tennis championships continue with the Singles and Doubles brackets. All matches will stream live on TennisONE.

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